I mostly don't review foreign language films, not because I have a bias against them, but because I usually don't speak the language. It's sometimes hard to read the english translation at the bottom of the screen while trying to get into the horror movies, and that detracts from my overall enjoyment of the flick. Rarely, I make an exception, such as the Host (2006 monster movie), and like tonight, when I couldn't find anything else to watch.
Here Comes the Devil (2012) is a spanish-language film (at least, I think it was spanish, I admit to having the sound down relatively low during the movie) about a pair of missing kids that wander into a dark cave on a haunted mountain and spend the night there. The parents are freaking out, worried sick, and then the kids show up the next morning, as if nothing has happened. Everything seems to go back to normal, except the kids seem so... lifeless. The concerned mother begins to investigate, and that's when... oh yea. You know it. All hell breaks loose.
The Good: Hey, there's nudity in this film! The first 5 minutes involves an explicitly lesbian affair, and then things get weirder from there. I am always concerned about our fragile mental state in this country when an axe-wielding maniac can chop up a bunch of teenagers into little gory bits, and the movie gets a PG-13 rating (or something similar) but if the movie dares to show a couple of normal, consensual adults having everyday-old sex, it gets an NC-17 rating (I don't even know what this movie was rated, and I don't care). Makes me think we're just a little bit too uptight and repressed about some things, but I've been told I am a little weird, myself. Maybe it's not everyone else's sensibilities that are off, but mine? Naaaaaaaaaah! That's silly. Acting in this movie was kind of wooden, but considering the trauma the characters are supposed to be going through, I guess a complete lack of emotion is normal? Maybe everyone is just in shock throughout the entire movie. Kind of makes sense.
The Bad: Special effects in this movie are pretty much someone flicking the light switch on and off rapidly. There's a couple other cheap effects but they aren't very well done, and are extremely short-lived. I can't say as they were effective, either, because it was such a jarring disconnect from the rest of the film that the effects seemed to toss me out of my suspension of disbelief. The adult babysitter's nipples did look awesomely well-pierced, and if that was a special effect, kudos! If that wasn't a special effect, and that's just how her nipples normally look, then that actress is awesome, and I want to date her.
The Ugly: I knew when I saw the chubby Mexican guy's bare hindquarters in the first five minutes, that this was going to be a quality horror film. I think probably the most disconcerting thing about this entire movie is the almost gleeful way the young couple goes about taking their revenge. I don't want to give anything away if you want to watch this (it's on Netflix), but let's just say, taking a shower together while covered in blood and getting your groove on, is probably not normal behavior for a married couple in this situation. Makes the shower scene in Psycho look completely appropriate, by comparison.
I'm not sure I'd watch this movie again, but it wasn't a bad watch, the first time around. Having watched horror movies all my life, I didn't find anything too shocking here. Back in the glory days of my youth (the 80's), horror movies typically showed lots of boobs and gore in equal measure, and if a horror movie didn't take the plunge and toss in some rampant nudity, it usually wasn't worth watching. Of course, that was back when only geeky, nerdy guys watched horror movies, and seeing the naked ladies up on the big screen was the closest they were going to get to sex until they hit college. Now that things have changed (have they?), horror films are more interested in being taken seriously, so they avoid nudity like the plague. Honestly, I think the horror films today are worse off for their restraint. There's just something about watching a film, and seeing some naked young co-ed getting hacked to bits in the first 5 minutes, that tells you that the movie you are about to watch isn't going to be taking the safe and well-traveled road in an attempt to pander to the more prudish amongst us. If you're not willing to take any risks, then how can you surprise your viewers with an exciting plot? Also, aren't geeky, nerdy guys still your primary audience? Horror movie makers, is attracting a couple more ladies to the theaters worth it, when you're alienating your entire demographic? Nerds rule! Show us some love. :-)
In other news, there was a re-hash of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on TV tonight. I know Tim Curry is a cult icon for his role in that film, and I honestly tried to watch it tonight, hoping to review it for tonight's movie. But look, there are just some things that even I, jaded horror movie viewer that I am, cannot stomach. Like... Singing. (shudders, looks ill) Look, when I was a kid, I thought like a child, and I played like a child, and I sang along with the Sound of Music, like a child. But when I became an adult, it was time to put away childish things, like Stretch Armstrong, and musicals. I just can't watch them anymore. Maybe it's because I am too depressed to feel like singing of late, or maybe it's just because a bunch of normal-looking adults bursting into song at the drop of a hat, just kicks me out of my suspension of disbelief so quickly that I can't possibly re-engage the movie's incoherent plot. No matter the reason, I came to the movie 8 minutes late, and turned it off 15 seconds into the first musical number I saw. I apologize for my inability to stomach the joyous carousing of an otherwise probably-talented cast, but if you're singing and dancing, how scary can the damn horror movie actually be? Terrified people do not sing and dance, unless someone is shooting at their feet, and I watch Westworld for that.
That's all for this evening. Hopefully something horrific presents itself for watching on TV tomorrow at some point, because I am almost out of decent horror movies on Netflix. And that is truly SCARY. :-o